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Legacy and Life of Lucille Ball’s Children: Insights into America’s Favorite TV Family

Take a journey through the lives of Lucille Ball's children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. Explore their triumphs and contributions to the entertainment world. Embark on this nostalgic trip into America's beloved TV family.
by The Blinkist Team | Jan 22 2024
Legacy and Life of Lucille Ball's Children: Insights into America's Favorite TV Family
Credits: Getty Images

Lucille Ball, an iconic figure and darling of American television, captured viewers’ hearts with her comic talent and distinct allure. Best known for her extraordinary performance in the memorable 1950s sitcom, “I Love Lucy,” Ball’s impact on the entertainment world culminated in a successful career over six decades.

More than just red hair and a vibrant personality, Lucille Ball was a versatile actress, impactful producer, and dedicated family woman.
 

Lucille’s Partner On and Off Screen: Desi Arnaz

Lucille Ball’s marriage to Desiderio Alberto “Desi” Arnaz was marked with personal and professional complexities. The pair, who tied the knot on November 30, 1940, had a rocky relationship with moments of passion and turmoil.

After an attempt to divorce in 1944, they reconciled, and years later, they welcomed their children, Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr., in 1951 and 1953, respectively.

Their dynamic partnership extended from their household to the sets of “I Love Lucy”. They co-founded Desilu Productions to market their show and went on to produce other series such as “The Ann Sothern Show” and “The Untouchables.”

Despite the professional success, their marriage suffered under the weight of Arnaz’s escalating issues with alcohol abuse, gambling, and alleged affairs. It eventually led to Ball divorcing Arnaz on his birthday, March 2, 1960.
 

Incorporating Real-life into the Reel: Lucille’s Pregnancy

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz shared two biological children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. 

While they both decided to walk in their parents’ footprints into the entertainment business, it’s important to debunk the myth that Little Ricky from “I Love Lucy” was their real son.  

In an interesting twist, during the second season of “I Love Lucy,” Ball’s second pregnancy with Desi Arnaz Jr. was incorporated into the show’s plot. The character was pregnant with Ricky Ricardo Jr. Unlike many TV shows that accelerate a child’s age in a brief timeline, “I Love Lucy” took a unique approach.

The audience witnessed the Ricardo’s son, Little Ricky, experiencing real-time growth from an infant to a young boy.

However, the character was fictitious, and although a host of child actors played it, none included the real-life son of Ball and Arnaz.
 

Meet Lucie Arnaz: Keeping the Family Legacy Alive

Following the path set by her iconic parents, Lucie Arnaz, born in 1951, embarked on a career in film, theatre, and television. Her skills are not confined to acting – she has also proved her mettle in producing and directing.

One captivating aspect about Lucie is her determination to keep her mother’s memoir alive while carving out her unique identity. She is the catalyst behind the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in Jamestown, New York, ensuring her parents’ enduring presence even years after their passing.

Yet, she is not living in their shadow; she’s repeatedly demonstrated her artistic versatility in productions like “The Jazz Singer” and “Here’s Lucy.” Lucie is indeed a testament to her parents’ legacy while also a celebrated entertainer in her own right.
 

Introducing Desi Arnaz Jr.: A Chip Off the Old Block

Desi Arnaz Jr., the couple’s younger child, was born in 1953, making him 68 years old today. Like his sister, Desi Jr. also stepped into the entertainment world. Though marred by personal struggles, his journey has encompassed acting, singing, and drumming.

Interestingly, his birth took the nation by storm. It was featured on the cover of the first issue of TV Guide in 1953 due to its synchronicity with the “I Love Lucy” storyline. 

Copyright: TV Guide Magazine, LLC – April 1953

Today, while his public appearances might have grown sporadic, Desi Arnaz Jr.’s influence in the world of arts and entertainment continues. He and his wife, Amy Arnaz, co-manage the Historic Boulder Theatre and help run the non-profit Boulder City Ballet Company (BCBC).

His personal trials have cemented him not just as a figure of interest but also as a symbol of enduring resilience.
 

The End of “The Ricardos”

Sadly, Desi Arnaz passed away in 1986 due to lung cancer. Yet, his legacy, like that of Lucille Ball, who passed in 1989, lives on through their remarkable children. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz left an indelible mark on television, and their inspirational love for each other and their children reverberates to this day.

They are remembered not just for being a part of Hollywood’s golden age but for the enduring family they cherished and nurtured.

For those interested in delving deeper into the fascinating world of cinema, we recommend checking out Quentin Tarantino’s book, “Cinema Speculation.” Available on Blinkist, you can explore a captivating perspective on film from a legendary director’s viewpoint. 

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